Lether & Associates, PLLC
practices across the United States.
Lether & Associates devotes a significant portion of its practice to representing local, national, and international insurers on coverage issues in both first-party and third-party claims. We have decades of experience representing insurance companies in various State and Federal Courts. We routinely litigate claims involving property insurance and liability insurance in construction defect matters, pollution claims, bad faith claims, and claims involving statutory and regulatory violations. We are routinely involved in multi-million dollar construction-related claims, complex liability claims, injury claims, fraud claims, and claims involving natural disasters. Our attorneys are fluent in insurance-related legislation and we remain on the cutting edge of developments in the insurance world. We have achieved multi-million dollar defense verdicts and we have been instrumental in establishing case law and precedents in Washington State and other jurisdictions.
We have been involved in a number of significant fire claims, including such claims as the Mary Pang Warehouse fire (largest commercial arson in Washington State history), Manglona v. Allstate (largest homeowner’s arson in Washington State history), the Port of Bellingham fire loss, and the Taylor Bridge wildfire claims. In regard to natural disasters, we have acted as National Coordinating Counsel in regard to the 2001 Seattle Earthquake and the 2014 Oso landslide claims. We have also been involved in numerous construction cases, including the Carpenters Tower litigation in Washington, the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Washington, the Morrison Bridge litigation in Oregon, the BART subway station in Downtown San Francisco, the collapse of a major industrial complex in Louisiana, the Port of Anchorage failure in Alaska, the Elkhorn Condominiums construction defect claims in Idaho, the Rivergate Lofts construction defect claims in Colorado, and the failure of a public reservoir servicing facility in Tampa Bay, Florida. We regularly advise clients on coverage issues ranging from an insurer’s duty to defend and indemnify, Additional Insured coverage claims, claims involving WRAP and OCIP policies, and first-party property policies. Because of our extensive work in the coverage arena, we also regularly provide legal advice to our clients in regard to the adjustment and investigation of claims. This includes protecting our clients from potential extra-contractual and bad faith claims in a number of jurisdictions. We have also successfully defended insurers in a number of bad faith and extra-contractual claims, as well as in coverage claims and contribution claims.
Construction defect litigation is uniquely challenging due to the complexity of the issues involved and the exposures to our clients. Our team has embraced the challenges presented by these cases and we have time and time again achieved favorable results. The technical backgrounds of our attorneys combined with our years of experience have equipped us with a comprehensive understanding of construction claims. We specialize in liability coverage disputes including commercial, residential, apartment owner and Condominium Act claims. Our ability to identify and communicate pertinent issues is unparalleled and contributes to our long track record of success.
The claims that we have been involved in include construction defect litigation involving shopping malls, large-scale condominium projects, office towers, hotels, medical facilities, and apartment complexes. We also have extensive experience in private homeowners claims and private residences – particularly in the high-end home market. Our public work projects include not only hospitals, but highway bridges, overpasses, freeway litigation, sports facilities, prisons, universities, industrial complexes, and tunnel boring projects.
Lether & Associates represents clients in all phases of litigation from the inception of a case throughout the appeal process. We have experience in a variety of commercial litigation including claims arising from contracts, statutory litigation, business litigation and class action suits. We frequently litigate matters which are factually and legally complex, and draw from the wide variety of knowledge and backgrounds within the firm to successfully resolve each one.
Our commercial litigation experiences include representing clients in construction contract disputes, commercial lease transactions, disputes between business owners, and issues arising from business licensing concerns. We understand the difficulties that face business owners when faced with liability exposures and legal disputes. We are there to protect our business owner clients’ best assets – their business and business reputation.
Claims involving aviation services are varied and complex. In many instances, the exposures are significant. Claims may involve actual aviation crashes as well as personal injury claims involving airlines and aviation services companies. In addition, there are exposures involving potential class actions and business claims arising out of the activities of airlines and/or businesses which provide services to the aircraft and airline industries. Our firm has experience both in regard to coverage issues and as assigned defense counsel in these claims. This includes working on claims as assigned defense counsel on fatality losses, class action matters involving employee claims, and regulatory work on both a local and international basis.
Our firm has a long track record of successfully resolving cases outside of the courtroom. This includes some of the most significant dollar resolutions in the Northwest. Our experience and constant interaction with our clients allows us to avail ourselves of the time and cost effective options of mediation and arbitration. Our results not only benefit our clients financially, but provide a peace of mind which may be difficult to achieve in litigation.
Tom Lether has been involved in hundreds of multi-party mediations. Many of these matters have successfully been resolved despite the exposures and complexities involved in the claims. These include multi-party construction defect matters, significant injury claims, and extra-contractual or other bad faith claims.
Mr. Lether also regularly serves as a Mediator. He has successfully mediated a number of coverage, personal injury, and bad faith cases, including some of the most significant coverage and bad faith claims in the State of Washington. Mr. Lether and other members of the firm also regularly act as Arbitrators and Special Masters, selected by individuals and appointed by the Courts in Washington State. Finally, our office regularly is involved in property appraisals under first-party policies of insurance. This includes Mr. Lether acting as an Appraiser and Umpire in first-party property appraisals.
Public Sector Litigation
A number of our clients are involved in impacting the public sector. This includes insurers who provide liability insurance for school districts, local municipalities, states, and law enforcement agencies. The coverage issues arising out of claims involving the public sector present significant exposures with varied and complex insurance coverage issues. These claims may include construction cases involving municipalities, business tort claims, condemnation claims, molestation claims, abuse claims, and class action litigation. Our firm has addressed these issues both in regard to providing coverage advice, litigating insurance issues and extra-contractual claims, and as assigned defense counsel.
Professional Liability & Significant Injury Claims
Lether & Associates assists clients in property damage, catastrophic injury and death claims. This includes claims arising out of professional liability. We have the technical knowledge necessary to handle medical negligence, design and contractor negligence, and personal injury claims. Further, we have developed productive relationships with experts in multiple fields and are well equipped to form the best team possible to win your case.
Your claim deserves both time and personal attention from a highly skilled attorney. Our goal as a firm has always been to put the client first. Our firm knows that quality representation requires relentless advocacy and constant communication from beginning to end.
Our experience includes multiple wrongful death claims, medical malpractice claims, significant personal injury claims arising from workplace injuries as well as automobile accidents. In regard to professional liability claims, we have handled a number of medical malpractice claims, accounting malpractice claims, and attorney malpractice claims.
Lether & Associates is confident that no matter the circumstances of your injury, our firm will be able to properly present your case and put you in the best position to recover on your claims.
A successful appeal requires an experienced legal team, a knowledge of the courts and political climate, and superior writing skills. Lether & Associates has experience in all divisions of the Washington State Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has assisted on appeals before the United States Supreme Court. Tom Lether has argued appeals involving a number of insurance and bad faith matters since 1988. A number of the decisions have created law in the insurance industry.